CNS News

Subscribe to the CNS News RSS feed

Nahmod Named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society

Andrea Nahmod, Mathematics and Statistics, has been named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) in recognition of what it calls her “contributions to nonlinear Fourier analysis, harmonic analysis, and partial differential equations, as well as service to the mathematical community." According to the AMS, the designation of fellow recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. Nahmod is one of 63 mathematical scientists from around the world chosen for the honor and the second member of her department.

CNS students win first place in Innovation Challenge MinutePitch and are most of the runners up

CNS students were big winners in the annual UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge MinutePitch. Team Acorn Drive won first place and $1,000 for their proposal of a two-layer cloud encryption application that secures user data and prevents cloud vendors or company employees from accessing the data. The team: Leo Xuzhang Lin, Computer Science, and Matthew Minafo, Accounting. Four runner-up teams each received $400: Team FogKicker proposed an antifogging coating based on renewable and biodegradable materials and included CNS students Yinyong Li and Chia-Chih Chang from Polymer Science and Engineering and Kristopher W. Kolewe, Chemical Engineering, and Rob Flanagan, Accounting and Economics. Team GeneRisk, Ajay Kumar, Neuroscience & Behavior Program, proposed a software and web database combination that allows clinicians to deposit raw genetic data to obtain a risk score for Autism Spectrum or related disorders. Team DeepPap, Venkatesh N. Murthy, School of Computer Science PhD Candidate, proposed building a low-cost, reliable, and efficient automated cervical cancer screening system using Pap smear images. Team Nanosense, Ngoc Le, Chemistry PhD candidate, proposed developing and commercializing test strips for rapid detection of microbes in drinking water and other public water sources. More about Innovation Challenge

Rudd Adoption Research Program honored by Chaplin gift

The Rudd Adoption Research Program was honored by a gift from Scott D. Chaplin '89, as featured in the fall issue of UMass Amherst magazine (PDF). .

Staudinger's work on rare sperm whales featured in UMass Amherst magazine

Michelle Staudinger '10 PhD, Environmental Conservation, studies the diets of two rare sperm whale species, as featured in the fall issue of UMass Amherst magazine (PDF).

Venkataraman, Gehan, and Bag's nanoparticle breakthrough featured in UMass Amherst magazine

The work of Dhandapani Venkataraman, Chemistry, and Timothy Gehan, Chemistry doctoral candidate, and Monojit Bag, Polymer Science and Engineering postdoctoral research fellow, who have developed a technique for controlling molecular assembly of nanoparticles over multiple length scales was featured in the fall issue of UMass Amherst magazine (PDF).

Santangelo, Evans, Hayward origami-inspired research featured in UMass Amherst magazine

The origami-inspired mechanical metamaterial design research of Christian Santangelo, Physics, along with Arthur A. Evans, also Physics, and Ryan C. Hayward, Polymer Science and Engineering, and others, was featured in the fall issue of UMass Amherst magazine (PDF).

Xing awarded the Jackson Soil Science Award by the Soil Science Society of America

Baoshan Xing, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, has been awarded the Marion L. and Chrystie M. Jackson Soil Science Award by the Soil Science Society of America for his outstanding contributions in the areas of soil chemistry and mineralogy. Xing's research focuses on soil organic matter chemistry, characterization and use of biochar, and environmental fate of organic contaminants and engineered nanoparticles. As author or coauthor of more than 280 refereed articles with more than 13,000 citations, he is one of the “highly cited researchers” of 2014, according to Thomson Reuters.

UMass Amherst ranked eighth in agricultural sciences worldwide by U.S. News & World Report

UMass Amherst was ranked eighth in agricultural sciences among 500 research universities worldwide, according to Best Global Universities, a report released today by U.S. News & World Report. The university was also ranked 32nd in space science, 73rd in environment/ecology, and 115th overall. News release

Webley moderates panel discussion of “The Ebola Epidemic: How We Got Here, Current Preparedness, and Future Outlook”

Four panelists discussed “The Ebola Epidemic: How We Got Here, Current Preparedness, and Future Outlook” on Tuesday, Oct. 28 in the Campus Center Auditorium. The speakers were Martha Anker of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences; George Corey, executive director and medical director, University Health Services; Donna Gallagher, founding codirector, UMass Medical School Office of Global Health; and Alpha Kabinet Kaba of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School, a native of Guinea whose family has been affected by the Ebola outbreak. Wilmore Webley, Microbiology, an expert in infectious disease and immunology, was the moderator. News and Observer, WFXT-TV 25, Mysanantonio.com, WCVB-TV 5, MyFoxDFW, WGGB-TV 40, WWLP-TV 22, WSHM-TV 3, News release

Richardson reports that binge drinking can have lasting effects on adolescent brains

Heather N. Richardson, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and colleagues have found that binge drinking can have lasting effects on brain pathways that are still developing during adolescence, as reported in The Journal of Neuroscience. WBUR-FM, News-medical.net, NDTV.com, Zeenews.india.com, Science Codex, Business Standard, Times of India, Yahoo News Malaysia, Nature World News, Animal Laboratory News, The Health Site, Counselheal.com, WebIndia123.com, Medindia.net, Science Daily, NewKerala.com, New England Public Radio, Sify News, Science Newsline, Health Central, News release

Towsley and Sitaraman awarded $2.4 million NSF grant to study the Internet content ecosystem

Donald F. Towsley and Ramesh K. Sitaraman, both from the School of Computer Science, and colleagues have received a four-year, $2.4 million National Science Foundation grant to study what they call the Internet content ecosystem, and to invent new architectural and algorithmic mechanisms to better coordinate the way content is delivered to users. Phys.org, ECN magazine, News release

Scherer appointed by Gov. Patrick to Board of Registration of Psychologists

David Scherer, Psychological and Brain Sciences, has been appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick to a five-year term on the Board of Registration of Psychologists. The board licenses qualified individuals to practice psychology, and has responsibility for protecting the public through regulation of the practice of psychology as conducted by approximately 6,000 licensed psychologists in the Commonwealth. Scherer's research focuses on the ethics and process of adolescent and family decision-making in medical and research contexts.

Webley interviewed by Republican about Ebola outbreak

Wilmore C. Webley, Microbiology, was interviewed by The Republican about the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

Whitbourne featured in Cosmopolitan article about why women feel guilty when they relax

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, was interviewed by Cosmopolitan magazine in a story about why women often feel guilty when they relax.

Barowy, Gochev, and Berger release CheckCell, data-debugging software for use in Excel

Daniel Barowy and Dimitar Gochev, both Computer Science doctoral candidates, and Emery Berger, Computer Science, have released CheckCell, a plugin for Microsoft’s popular Excel program that automatically finds data errors in spreadsheets. Barowy presented the data-debugging software tool at the Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications (OOPSLA) conference. CheckCell is now freely available to anyone who wants to use it. “Our work for the first time combines data analysis and program analysis," says Berger. "CheckCell identifies data points that have a big impact on the final result, even if the impact is super subtle and difficult to detect."

Tosch and Berger's prize-winning SurveyMan promises to revolutionize survey design and accuracy

Coauthors Emma Tosch, doctoral candidate, and her advisor, Emery Berger, both Computer Science, won a Best Paper award at the Object-oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications (OOPSLA) conference, the premier international computer programming language design conference, for their work on “SurveyMan,” a first-of-its-kind software system for designing, deploying and automatically debugging surveys to improve their accuracy and trustworthiness. Phys.org, News release

Schweik and Volpini featured in article about using a balloon to scout water chestnut plants in Westfield

The work of Charles M. Schweik, Environmental Conservation, and graduate student Anthony Volpini, also Environmental Conservation, using a red helium balloon to provide aerial photographs of non-native invasive water chestnut plants in Westfield was featured. WWLP.com 22

Small, Dutton, Rosen, and Nicolson given Leading By Example awards from the Patrick administration

Four members of the Sustainable UMass team—Ezra Small, campus sustainability manager, Rachel Dutton, sustainability manager for Auxiliary Services, Victoria Rosen, sustainability communications and marketing manager with University Relations, and Craig Nicolson, Environmental Conservation and director of academic sustainability programs—were honored for their campus-wide sustainability work as Governor Deval Patrick's administration presented its Leading by Example Awards during ceremonies at the State House. News release

Lovley, Tuominen, Malvankar, and Yalcin show electric charges propagate along microbial nanowires; major biological controversy resolved

Derek Lovley, Microbiology; Mark Tuominen, Physics; Nikhil S. Malvankar, Physics Postdoctoral Fellow; and Sibel Ebru Yalcin, Physics PhD '10, report in the current issue of Nature Nanotechnology that they’ve used a new imaging technique, electrostatic force microscopy (EFM), to provided stronger evidence than ever to support their claims that the microbe Geobacter produces tiny electrical wires, called microbial nanowires. Innovations Report, Cleantechnica.com, ECN magazine, Science Codex, Nanowerk, Phys.org, Nanotechnology-now.com, Product Design and Development, Science Daily, News release

Burrell book excerpted in the Boston Globe magazine

Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole a new book by Brian D. Burrell, Mathematics and Statistics, and Allan Ropper, was excerpted in the Boston Globe magazine.

Whitbourne featured in article about the myth of the midlife crisis

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and her research finding the midlife crisis notion to be a myth, are the focus of an article in the Daily Mail.

Clark research about head lice resistant to over-the-counter chemicals is featured in Popular Science

John M. Clark, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, says head lice are growing resistant to over-the-counter treatments because doctors have relied on the same compound to kill them for decades, as reported in Popular Science

Kevrekidis Serving as Distinguished Scholar at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Panos Kevrekidis, Mathematics and Statistics, is serving as the Stanislaw M. Ulam Distinguished Scholar for 2014-15 at the Center for Nonlinear Studies of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico. News release

Condron shows icebergs came as far south as Florida during last ice age

Alan Condron, Geosciences, has used a first-of-its-kind, high-resolution numerical model to describe ocean circulation during the last ice age to show that icebergs and meltwater from the North American ice sheet would have regularly reached South Carolina and even southern Florida, as described in Nature Geoscience. History.com, Maine News, NBCNews.com, Discovery News, MSN.com, Azocleantech.com, Red Orbit, Headlines & Global News, Smithsonian.com, Natureworldnews.com, Phys.org, Terra Daily, Earthsky.org, News release

Loring's use of nanotechnology radio tracking tags is featured

Pamela H. Loring, Environmental Conservation doctoral candidate, uses nanotechnology radio tracking tags to gather information about terns living at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge on Cape Cod. Wicked Local Truro